DALLAS -- Discussion on the shortage of police officers and how to bring the Dallas Police Department back to full strength will likely be renewed on Monday when crime stats are presented to the Public Safety Committee.
Interim Chief David Pughes will share the numbers for 2017, which show response times have increased across the board for all types of calls and a rise in violent crime.
Not all the statistics bear bad news. Through April 12, there were seven fewer murders and 53 fewer sexual assaults compared to the same time last year. However, non-family violence aggravated assaults increased by 18 percent with 136 more cases in 2017.
DPD is operating with 66 fewer police officers this year and, after making improvements in response times in 2016, it has been a step in the wrong direction this year.
Priority 1 calls, or emergency calls, saw only a very small increase, but wait times for Priority 2, or urgent calls, increased by more than three minutes. Lower priority calls for general service or non-critical situations are now taking 11 minutes longer for officers to respond.
In the big picture, the last three years have seen the three lowest crime rates in the city dating back to 1969.
The department and the police associations have struggled with ways to retain officers and increase staffing to appropriate levels, urging City Hall to help with the resources for hiring and retention.
Dallas Crime Stats through April 12 (per DPD)
Murder 50 43
Sexual Assault 198 145
Agg Assault NFV 749 885
DPD response time (in mins.)
Priority 1 (Emergency) 7.94 8.12
Priority 2 (Urgent) 18.26 21.71
Priority 3 (General service) 49.15 60.31
Priority 4 (Non-Critical) 63.34 74.49